The Silver Cliff Schoolhouse: History of the School, Stories by the Children is about Silver Cliff Schoolhouse teachers and students who lived through the boom and bust years of the mining community. The building that even now stands in Silver Cliff was occupied for 66 years with students and teachers that over time lived a part of the boom and bust years of the town. The book also gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of the families of the area and a look at everyday school life for the teacher and the students.
Almost every family in Silver Cliff had a cow for milk and a few chickens for eggs. Some families had vegetable gardens. Most mothers would spend a good part of the summer canning food in preparation for the lean winter months. The canned food would help fill the one-pound lard buckets the children carried for lunch to school.
Mable wrote, “A mile walk to school was considered a short distance in those days but I had a two-family milk route that I had to take care of on the way to school. The price of a two-quart bucket of milk was ten cents. My mother also sold eggs and fryers. On Saturday morning Mom would step to the porch with her 22 Special rifle and shoot off chickens heads because they were too wild to catch. Buying frying chickens from the Wolff family was a real treat for the community, and the yard would be full of people waiting to buy frying chickens.”
Silver Cliff Schoolhouse, other titles by Irene Francis
This is the third book Irene Francis has written. The first book, One-Room Schoolhouses, Custer County Colorado, is about the 25 one-room schools that dotted the landscape of the Wet Mountain Valley. It also takes a look at the people and customs of that time period. The second, Hear the Whistle Blow, traces the development of the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad routes from Canon City and Texas Creek to Westcliffe, and their impact on the area.